The Meeting of the Three Kings, with David and Isaiah (recto); The Assumption of the Virgin (verso)

Object Details


The Meeting of the Three Kings, with David and Isaiah (recto); The Assumption of the Virgin (verso)


Master of the St. Bartholomew Altarpiece (Netherlandish, active about 1475 - 1510)




before 1480


Oil and gold leaf on panel

Object Number:



62.8 × 71.5 cm (24 3/4 × 28 3/16 in.)

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In a barren, mountainous landscape, the three wise kings Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar meet to continue their journey to Bethlehem. Heralds on prancing horses blare trumpets to proclaim the unification of humankind at the birth of Jesus. On the peaked mountains above, the kings appear again at an earlier moment. Their diminutive figures stand or kneel, watching for the star that will lead them to their king. In the right and left corners of the foreground, Isaiah and David hold scrolling banners inscribed with the Old Testament prophecies of the Adoration of the Magi. The Assumption of the Virgin appears on the other side of this panel. Borne aloft by musical angels, the Virgin Mary slowly ascends to be crowned Queen of Heaven by God the Father above. Circles of pastel colors--yellow, pink, and blue--radiate from her, ending with clouds painted in each corner of the composition.

An altarpiece wing functions like a door to a cabinet. Artists often painted both sides of a wing so that a picture would be visible whether the "door" was opened or closed. Because this panel is painted on two sides, it may have once formed part of such a wing.

by 1803 - 1810

Possibly Henry Blundell, 1723/1724 - 1810, probably by inheritance to Charles Robert Blundell, 1810.

1810 - 1837

Charles Robert Blundell, Esq., 1761 - 1837, by inheritance to his second cousin twice removed, Thomas Weld-Blundell, 1837.

1837 - 1877

Thomas Weld-Blundell, 1808 - 1887, by inheritance to Charles Joseph Weld-Blundell, 1877.

1877 - 1927

Charles Joseph Weld-Blundell, 1844 - 1927, by inheritance (as a life interest only) to his daughters Mary Teresa Weld-Blundell and Alice Mary Weld-Blundell, 1927.

1927 - 1947

Alice Mary Weld-Blundell, 1907 - 1947

1927 - 1947

and Mary Teresa Weld-Blundell, died 1957, upon the death of Alice Mary Weld-Blundell, her share by inheritance to her sister, Mary Teresa Weld-Blundell.

1947 - 1957

Mary Teresa Weld-Blundell, died 1957, by inheritance to her cousin, Joseph William Weld, and her cousin once removed, Wilfred Joseph Weld, 1957.

1957 - 1996

Joseph William Weld, born 1909

1957 - 1996

and Wilfred Joseph Weld, born 1934

- 1996

Trustees of the Weld Settlement, sold through Simon Dickinson Ltd. (London) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

Pictures from Ince Blundell Hall (April 3 to April 30, 1960)
  • Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, April 3 to April 30, 1960
Works of Art from Private Collections (September 21 to October 30, 1960)
  • Unknown, September 21 to October 30, 1960
Der Meister des Bartholomäus-Altares; der Meister des Aachener Altares. Kölner Maler der Spätgotik (March 25 to May 28, 1961) (pp. 73 - 75, catalogue by R. Andree, G. Aust, H.R. Leppien, H. Vey, front and back illustrated)
  • Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud (Cologne), March 25 to May 28, 1961
German Art 1400 - 1800 from Collections in Great Britain (October 24 to December 10, 1961)
  • Manchester City Galleries (Manchester), October 24 to December 10, 1961
Late Gothic Art from Cologne (April 5 to June 1, 1977)
  • The National Gallery (London), April 5 to June 1, 1977
Der Meister des Bartholomäus-Altares: Tradition und Innovation in der Kölner Malerei um 1500 (May 20 to August 19, 2001)
  • Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud (Cologne), May 20 to August 19, 2001
Kölns Glanz und Größe Meisterwerke von 1000 bis 1550 aus den großen Sammlungen der Welt (November 3, 2011 to February 26, 2012)
  • Museum Schnütgen (Cologne), November 3, 2011 to February 26, 2012

Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Treasures of Art in Great Britian: Being an Account of the Chief Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Illuminated Mss., &c., &c. 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1854), vol. 3, pp. 251-52.

Pictures from Ince Blundell Hall, exh. cat. (Liverpool: Walker Art Gallery, 1960), pp. 10-11, no. 14.

Grossmann, Fritz G. German Art 1400-1800 from Collections in Great Britain, exh. cat. (Manchester: Art Gallery, 1961), pp. 10-11, no. 19, ill.

Andree Rolf, et al. Der Meister des Bartholomäus-Altares. Der Meister des Aachener Altares: Kölner Maler des Spätgotik, exh. cat. (Cologne: J.P. Bachem, 1961), pp. 74-75, no. 10, fig. 23.

Baudouin, Frans. "Der Meister des Bartholomäusaltares und die Südniederländsiche Malerie des 15. Jahrhunderts." Wallraf-Richartz Jahrbuch XXIII (1961), pp. 357-58.

Leppien, Helmut R. "Das Dreikönigstreffen beim Meister des Bartholomäusaltares und seine Ikonograpahie." Wallraf-Richartz Jahrbuch XXIII (1961), pp. 346-52.

Pieper, Paul. "Der Meister des Bartholomäusaltares." In Der Meister des Bartholomäus-Altares. Der Meister des Aachener Altares: Kölner Maler des Spätgotik, exh. cat. (Cologne: J.P. Bachem, 1961), pp. 24-25, fig. 23.

Wallraf, Rolf. "Kölner Maler der Spätgotik." Kunstchronik 6, no. 14 (1961), pp. 150-52, 162, fig. 2.

Levey, Michael and Christopher White. "The German Exhibition at Manchester." Burlington Magazine 103, no. 705 (December 1961), pp. 485-86.

Stange, Alfred. Kritisches Verzeichnis der deutschen Tafelbilder vor Dürer. 3 vols. (Munich: Bruckmann, 1967), vol. 1, p. 79, no. 238.

Goldberg, Gisela and Gisela Scheffler. Gemäldekataloge. Vol. XIV. Altdeutsche Gemälde, Köln und Nordwestdeutschland (Munich: Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, 1972), pp. 228-30.

Reynaud, Nicole, ed. Les Primitifs de l'Ecole de Cologne, exh. cat. (Paris: Musées Nationaux, 1974), pp. 25, 27, 52, figs.11c, 11d.

Zehner, Frank Günther. Late Gothic Art from Cologne, exh. cat. (London: National Gallery, 1977), pp.94-95, no. 32, ill.

Muchnic, Suzanne. "An Illustrious Story." Los Angeles Times [Los Angeles] (December 14, 1996), pp. 1, F6, ill.

Stewart, Laura, and Geoffrey Barker. "Switzerland, loot and the Nazis." Daily Telegraph [London] (December 16, 1996), unpaginated.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 83, ill.

Gribbon, Deborah. "Selected Acquisitions made by the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995-97." The Burlington Magazine 139, no. 1136 (November 1997), p. 826, ill.

Walsh, John, and Deborah Gribbon. The J. Paul Getty Museum and Its Collections: A Museum for the New Century (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 108, 116, ill.

Carr, Dawson W. The Adoration of the Magi (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 54-56, fig. 48.

La Rie, E. René de. Conservation Science Unvarnished (Amsterdam: Stichting Bijzondere Leerstoel voor de Chemie van Conservering en Restauratie, 1999), pp. 12-13, fig. 5.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 111, ill.

Zuffi, Stefano. Gospel Figures in Art. Thomas Michael Hartmann, trans. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), p. 85.

Kahsnitz, Rainer. Carved Splendor: Late Gothic Altarpieces in Southern Germany, Austria, and South Tirol. Russell Stockman, trans. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006), pp. 241, 243, fig. 111 (verso).

Morris, Edward. "Early Nineteenth-Century Liverpool Collectors of Late Medieval Illuminated Mansucripts." In The Making of the Middle Ages: Liverpool Essays. Marios Costambeys et al., eds. (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007), pp. 180-81, 187, no. 72, fig. 10.

Massing, Jean Michel. "The Black Magus in the Netherlands, from Memling to Rubens." In Black is Beautiful. Rubens to Dumas, exh. cat. (Amsterdam: De Nieuwe Kerk, 2008), pp. 34-35, fig. 7.

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Borchert, Till-Holger. "Medieval Art in Cologne." The Burlington Magazine 154 (March 2012), p. 219.

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